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How did the NFL Draft's Top 50 Prospects Rank as Recruits?

Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers

Years before the top picks were eligible for the draft, they were top recruits — or at least most of them — entering the collegiate ranks.

Below is a list of the star rankings, national rankings and position rankings of the top 50 prospects from the Athlon Sports 2015 NFL Draft preview magazine. Many like to argue that recruiting rankings don't matter, however, the data below further proves that rankings are an accurate indicator of future NFL success.

All rankings according to 247Sports.com. Nat'l = national ranking regardless of position, Pos. = national ranking by position.* - junior college prospect

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Name

Pos

Team

Class

Stars

Nat'l

Pos.

HS POS

1

Jameis Winston

QB

2012

5

15

1

D-QB

2

Leonard Williams

DT

2012

4

50

3

SDE

3

Marcus Mariota

QB

2011

3

513

22

D-QB

4

Amari Cooper

WR

2012

4

46

6

WR

5

Shane Ray

DE

2011

3

385

15

WDE

6

Randy Gregory

DE

2011

3

1,180

55

WDE

7

Andrus Peat

OT

2012

5

30

4

OT

8

La'El Collins

OT

2011

5

3

2

OT

9

Ereck Flowers

OT

2012

4

157

17

OT

10

Mario Edwards Jr.

DE

2012

5

2

1

SDE

11

Melvin Gordon

RB

2012

4

258

22

RB

12

Kevin White*

WR

2013

3*

136

23

WR

13

Danny Shelton

DT

2011

3

331

23

DT

14

Trae Waynes

CB

2011

3

1,143

88

S

15

Malcom Brown

DT

2012

5

9

2

DT

16

Landon Collins

S

2012

5

7

2

RB

17

Brandon Scherff

OT

2010

3

579

40

OT

18

Dante Fowler

OLB

2012

4

36

6

WDE

19

Eddie Goldman

DT

2012

5

10

3

DT

20

DeVante Parker

WR

2011

3

311

47

WR

21

Jaelen Strong*

WR

2013

3*

32

9

WR

22

Cameron Erving

OT

2010

3

804

68

DT

23

Jake Fisher

OT

2011

3

354

41

OT

24

Shaq Thompson

LB

2012

5

4

1

S

25

Alvin Dupree

DE

2011

3

806

46

TE

26

Arik Armstead

DE

2012

5

14

1

SDE

27

Maxx Williams

TE

2012

3

1,038

52

TE

28

Eli Harold

DE

2012

4

44

7

WDE

29

P.J. Williams

CB

2012

4

118

8

S

30

Vic Beasley

OLB

2010

3

483

22

TE

31

Carl Davis

DT

2010

3

838

70

DT

32

Benardrick McKinney

LB

2011

3

912

49

ATH

33

Marcus Peters

CB

2011

3

509

37

CB

34

Sammie Coates

WR

2011

3

352

51

WR

35

Nate Orchard

DE

2011

3

832

104

WR

36

Todd Gurley

RB

2012

4

74

7

S

37

Tevin Coleman

RB

2012

3

730

42

RB

38

A.J. Cann

OG

2010

4

134

3

C

39

Rob Havenstein

OT

2010

3

667

33

OG

40

Hau'oli Kikaha

LB

2010

3

880

42

SDE

41

Max Valles

OLB

2012

3

997

73

ATH

42

T.J. Clemmings

OT

2010

4

177

15

SDE

43

Devin Smith

WR

2011

3

327

49

WR

44

Tre' Jackson

OG

2011

3

1,223

83

DT

45

Markus Golden*

DE

2012

3*

69

5

ILB

46

Grady Jarrett

DT

2011

3

1,131

76

DT

47

Lorenzo Mauldin

LB

2011

3

926

58

SDE

48

Quinten Rollins**

CB

2010

3

324

62

PG

49

Cody Prewitt

S

2011

3

403

20

ATH

50

Cedric Ogbuehi

OT

2010

4

119

15

OT

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** - Quinten Rollins' rankings are actually basketball rankings as he wasn't a football player coming into college.

What we learned:

* Nine of the top 30 prospects were five-star recruits. In any one given class, there are roughly 30 five-stars. Basically, you have a 1-in-3 chance of becoming a top-30 prospect if you are a five-star recruit.

* 15 of the top 30 prospects were ranked in the top 10 nationally at their position coming out of high school.

* 20 of the top 50 prospects were four- or five-star recruits and ranked in the top 300 nationally. This group makes up roughly the top 10 percent (roughly 400 of 4,000) of any given recruiting class, but comprises almost 40 percent of the top 50 NFL prospects.

* Three players were junior college transfers and not a single two-star prospect was ranked as a top 50 NFL prospect.